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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1017 - 29 February 2016

IN THIS UPDATE


Another Drowning in Kuta
Afternoon Swim in The Ocean at Seminyak Beach Ends Tragically for Local Worker

Beritabali.com and Bali Tribune report that a 22-year-old man employed by a company in Bali drowned while swimming off Seminyak beach with a group of six friends on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Dead is Ahmad Taufik who was overcome by the waves opposite Restoran La Planca in Seminyak when he swam too far out to sea and was unable to safely return to shore.

A companion of the drowned man told police that the group swam too far out into the ocean when a large wave sent them all tumbling in the water. While six in the group managed to struggle back to the shoreline, Ahmad disappeared in the water.

The man’s body was found the following day on Doublesix Beach opposite the Hotel Jayakarta Legian, clad only in his underwear.


Struggling to Save Paradise
Group of Young Academicians List Why the Benoa Bay Reclamation Won’t Work and Must be Abandoned

A group of educators, researchers and intellectuals from across Bali and other parts of Indonesia collaborating under the banner of Young Balinese Academics (AMUBA) have voiced their combined opposition to the PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (PT TWBI) project to reclaim Benoa Bay.

As reported by Beritbali.com, the group that claims “Bali as their home” stand adamantly opposed to PT TWBI’s plans to create a major luxury resort on artificial islands in Bali’s Benoa Bay.

Claiming a shared social and intellectual responsibility, AMUBA listed the following objections to the controversial reclamation project:
  • AMUBA views Benoa Bay as having a common resource pool of social, economic and environmental values for all of Bali. In addition to serving as the gateway to Bali due to its close proximity to the Bali Ngurah Rai Airport and the Port of Benoa, Benoa Bay also provides employment to the fishermen and water sports operators who live surrounding the Bay.
  • AMUBA also cites the importance of the surrounding Protected Forest Area (Taman Hutan Raya – Tahura) covering 1,374 hectares that functions as a protective microenvironment and ecological buffer zone for South Bali. Located on the southeast edge of the Bay is Pulau Pudut, is also sacred island that plays a key role in the daily life of the people of Tanjung Benoa.
AMUBA says that the geographical location of Benoa Bay within the three-side golden triangle of Bali – Nusa Dua, Sanur and Kuta has served to stimulate a struggle among investors eager to wrest control of Benoa Bay in order to profit from its strategic location.

The value placed on the real estate in this area is demonstrated by two separate  twin projects dating from when the Suharto era that sought to create international standard resorts at Serangan Island by PT Bali Turtle Island Development (PT BTID) and PT Bali Benoa Marina (PT BBM). The surviving  family of Indonesia’s former President Suharto owns both these project, according to AMUBA.

Despite holding the required environmental impact study (AMDAL) prepared by Udayana University for the PT BBM Marina, that project was abandoned during the economic crisis of the late 1990s and the fall of the Suharto regime. Similarly, before the PT BTID island project stalled, an initial phase that enlarged by a factor of four the Serangan Island was completed.

AMUDA’s acknowledged that Benoa Bay is a semi-enclosed body of water beset by a number of severe problems, including worrying levels of sedimentation, the accumulation of trash, and organic and chemical contamination. At the same time, the group reminds all concerned that the current sad state of Benoa Bay is the direct result of over overdevelopment undertaken with little concern for Bali’s environment and future viability, including the damage imposed by the failed development of PT BTID and the recent construction of the Bali Mandara Toll Road.

Ironically, the degradation of Benoa Bay is used by PT TWBI as the main justification for their desire to convert the area from a protected mangrove area into an economic development zone. In acquiescence to PT TWBI’s plan, the Government cites a lack of public funds needed to rehabilitate Benoa Bay

AMUBA warns that the proposed reclamation of an area measuring 700-hectares will bring major negative impact to Bali’s environment, saying officials need to look no further that nearby Serangan Island and the work of PT BTID to see an example of Bali’s inability to manage large-scale sensitive environmental projects.

Moreover, according to AMUBA, the development planned by PT TWBI comprised of luxury resorts and apartments will benefit only the rich, leaving the Balinese increasingly marginalized on the Island of their birth.

Driving home their point, AMUBA has labeled the Benoa Bay Reclamation Project as colonialist in nature seeking only to profit in a predator-like-way from the destruction they will inflict on the Balinese community.

AMUDA also warns of widespread economic upheaval that will accompany the reclamation of Benoa Bay by PT TWBI, including:
  • The loss of employment for fishermen and water sports workers at Tanjung Benoa.
  • The additional hotel rooms to be built by PT TWBI will impact the current dramatic oversupply of hotel rooms in Bali, causing a drop in average occupancies and lowered prices. Information from the Bali Tourism Office reports put average occupancy island-wide at 57.77% in 2014, down from an average of 64.52% in 2011.
  • If the PT TWBI project goes ahead, it will oddly and ironically be in total opposition to a moratorium on new hotel development called for by Bali’s Governor Pastika as early as 2011, but who has now reversed course and endorces the reclamation project. 
Such obvious inconsistencies between public policy and local realities will also serve, according to AMUDA, to undermine further the public's faith in the rule of law and foment public unrest.

Due to the growing opposition to the Benoa Bay Reclamation Project by the Balinese community, AMUDA warns that the threat of internecine strife will continue to grow, affecting both the community and the government.

AMUDA cited studies that blame much of the currently poor condition of Benoa Bay on the PT BTID Turtle Island reclamation project. They say that the enlargement of Turtle island to four times its original size has destroyed local seaweed cultivation, changed the wave patterns across the southern part of the Island, killed corral reefs and contributed to the heavy sedimentation of Benoa Bay’s mangrove forest.

Because of this, AMUDA stands vehemently opposed to not only the Benoa Bay reclamation project of PT TWBI, but to other projects in close proximity, such as the development of Turtle Island by PT BTID and the development of a marina by PT Pelindo.


A Presumably Natural Ending
Australian Woman Found Dead in her Sanur Hotel Room

A 73-year-old Australian woman, Ann Sandra Christie, has been found dead in the bathroom of her accommodation at Flashback Bungalows on Jalan Danau Tamblingan in Sanur on Wednesday, February 24, 2016.

Two employees of the bungalow discovered the woman’s lifeless body at 11:30 am.

As reported by Metrobali.com, workers at the Bungalows became concerned when Christie’s room was locked when housekeep attempted to anter and clean. Staff grew increasingly concerned when a search for Ms. Christie at the Bungalow’s restaurant area failed to discover the Australian.

When management open the woman’s room with a pass key, the tourist’s cold and lifeless body was found on the bathroom floor.

Police and forensic examination of the room and the woman’s body showed no signs of any criminal activity or violence.

Police continue to investigate the case.


Erring on the Side of Caution
Indonesia Police Discount Australian Travel Advisories Citing Imminent Security Threat

The Jakarta Globe has rebutted travel warning issued by the Australian Government on Thursday, February 25, 2016 and discounted any “imminent security threat” of a terrorist attack in Indonesia.

A spokesman for the National Police, Brigadier General Agus Rianto, said:“As we can see, the whole of Indonesia is safe. People are free to do their activities without fear all across the country. We're working continuously with relevant institutions to maintain security."

Australia issued a warning regarding the possibility of militant attacks in Indonesia on the heels of a similar warning issued for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Australian government travel warning said: "Recent indications suggest that terrorists may be in the advanced stages of preparing attacks in Indonesia."

Indonesian officials remain very active in rounding up and launching arrests against suspected terrorists cells, with the elite Densus-88 anti-terror police squad launching recent raids in Bima, Sumbawa and Surabaya, East Java.


Cultivating Culinary Expertise in Bali
Bali Culinary Professionals Join Biggest Cooking Competition at Food, Hotels and Tourism Bali Expo March 3-5, 2016

More than 500 culinary professionals and 50 judges from 14 countries around the world will participate in the 9th Bali Salon Culinaire at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center March 3-5, 2016.

Among those vying for honors in the competitive cooking event are professional young chefs and students from Indonesia and Malaysia, with international judges invited from 14 countries including Switzerland, Germany, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines and USA.

Chairman of Salon Culinaire Committee, Stefan Mueller said: “It is an honor for us, Bali Culinary Professionals (BCP) to be trusted by PT Pamerindo Buana Abadi Trade Event as the committee to organize and run again the 9th Bali Salon Culinary event. This event is our duty as a member of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and in order to assist and improve the standard of culinary expertise in Indonesia.”

The Bali Salon Culinaire forms part The Food, Hotels and Tourism Bali 2016 (FHT) – the largest commercial exhibition in Indonesia by suppliers of professional food and beverage equipment and victuals.

The Bali Salon Culinaire 2016 has 6 categories of competition:
  • Pastry Displays and live cooking, including wedding cakes, pastry plated displays and chocolates.
  • Artistic Display and practical demonstrations, including fruit and ice carvings and creative table set up.
  • Plated Food Display, including 4-plated Main Course, 3-courses Indonesian Modern and Sushi.
  • Practical Cooking (Live demonstrations), including Indonesian Cooking, seafood, beef, sandwich, and a Dewata (Bali) Gastronomic Challenge.
  • Young Chef Basic Competition challenging young chefs to create 4-plated appetizers, pasta and individual salads.
  • Beverage Competition including a Sommelier competition conducted in cooperation with the Bali Chapter of the Indonesia Sommelier Association.
Bali Culinary Professionals (BCP) is a non-profit organization that supports the Island's restaurant and hospitality industry. The organization strives to improve professional standards, provide training and skill enhancement, and promote Indonesian cuisine internationally. BCP also forms the Indonesian branch of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) in close cooperation with the Association of Culinary Professionals Jakarta (ACP).


Leading by Example
Kuala Lumpur Imposes Ban on New Hotels to Stem Accommodation Oversupply

Travel Weekly Asia reports the municipal Administration of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur have announce a moratorium on new hotel licenses “until further notice.”

Reacting to an over-supply of hotel rooms, the ban applies all new applications for all classes of accommodation ranging from budget hotels to luxury properties.

The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, said that an over-abundance of hotels has saturated the market, while more hotels are under construction and moving toward construction.

The Malaysian capital has 939 hotels – a number that includes 400 budget hotels. Seeking to expand the budget sector, local shopkeepers are increasingly applying to convert shops into small hotels.

Municipal officials estimate more than 56,000 hotel rooms in Kuala Lumpur across the entire range of accommodation.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur estimates 12 million annual international visitors will come to the city in 2016.

Officials say the step was taken to avert a price war among othels in Kuala Lumpur.

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The Voices from Bali
Documentary on Benoa Bay Reclamation Goes Viral as Rolling Stone Magazine Provides Coverage on Filmmaker

The intensity of the debate continues to escalate over the controversial plan to reclaim a former protected mangrove forest area in Benoa Bay and turn it into a massive hotel and apartment development.

In an effort to capture the mood and sentiments of the people who live in Bali, documentary filmmaker Gary Bencheghib has launched his latest project entitled “Bali versus Mass Development.”

Two week’s after the launch of a trailer promoting the film, the video has reportedly been viewed on various platforms over 115,000 times, shared 4,500 times and contributed towards and stimulate a resurgence of signatures on the “Tolak Reklamasi” (Reject Reclamation) petition website.

Both the filmmaker and his documentary were also the focus of an article in a recent edition of Rolling Stone Indonesia


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Fun at the Pullman in Bali: There are No Handicaps
Pullman Bali Legian Creates a Day of Joy for Handicapped Kids from YPAC

The Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana recently hosted a special day for 20 children from the Bali Handicapped Children Foundation (YPAC).



The kids were hosted by the hotel’s management and staff for a garden pool-sided party and an indulgent kids-menu lunch at The Deli Restaurant that included a special musical performance presented by members of The Pullman’s teams.

Hotel general manager, Franck Loison said: “We are very pleased to host this wonderful event to brighten the day for these special children. Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana is committed to support the Balinese community and improving the lives of the locals. We would love to do this annually to entertain the children, and make sure they have unforgetable moments with us.”


Sabrina Parker, a guest from Australia staying at The Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana, said: “Hotel guests were invited to join in the fun and several participated by helping with the children in the pool. This was one of the highlights of the activity and it was really fun helping and seeing the smiling faces on these kids.”

Ibu Tanti, the supervisor from the children’s foundation added: “We are very thankful to Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana. The children had so much fun and really enjoy this day. This is all they talk about weeks before and after the event and we can’t wait to do it again next year.”

This event activity was held in conjunction with the Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana’s 5th anniversary.


Is it Over for Uber in Bali?
Bali Lawmakers Ask Governor to Shut Down Uber Taxi and GrabCar

Beritabali.com reports that the Provincial Government of Bali, via the Island’s Department of Transportation, is signaling its readiness to formally shut down Uber Taxi and GrabCar mobile travel application services on the Island.

The latest development moving toward totally banning the services follows a letter urging the move that was sent by Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) to Governor Made Mangku Pastika.

The Chief of the Transportation, Information and Communications for the Province of Bali, I Ketut Artika, confirmed the subject letter has been delivered to Governor Pastika on February 23, 2016, who has the absolute authority to take a decision in the matter.

Artika confirmed that the Province has already undertaken an inventory and study of Uber and GrabCar’s operations in Bali. He also confirmed that the Governor’s office has never issued a license or permit to the two companies.

Artika said that if the Governor ordered a shut down of Uber Taxi and GrabCar, the Provincial Administration would carry out Pastika’s order. This was confirmed separately by the Provincial Spokesperson, Dewa Gede Mahendra Putra.

Earlier, Governor Pastika had pledged that he would act on any letter from the DPRD-Bali demanding a shutdown of Uber Taxi and GrabCar in Bali after undertaking an internal legal review of possible enforcement measures.


All Flights Diverted on March 9, 2016
Bali Airport to Shut Down for 24-Hours on March 9, 2016 to Mark Bali’s Day of Silence - Nyepi

PT Angkasa Pura I, the operating authority of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, has prepared an official Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) advising the international aviation community that operations will cease for a 24-hour period starting on the morning of March 9. 2016 – the office Bali-Hindu Day of Silence “Nyepi.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the general manager of PT Angkasa Pura I, Trikora Harjo, confirmed that the NOTAM would be issued formally one week prior to Nyepi.

The NOTAM advises that one of Indonesia’s busiest airports in Bali will close for 24-hour before sunrise on March 9, 2015. Bali’s airport will close beginning at 6:00 am on that date and resume operations at 6:01 am on the following day.

A skeleton staff will be on duty at the airport to assist with any technical or emergency landings that might occur during the annual closure. If a plane landed at the airport during the closure period, passengers and crew, with the exception of medical emergencies, would not be allowed to leave the airport terminal until the morning of March 10, 2016 or, as it otherwise known, the second day of the Bali-Hindu New Year – Caka 1938.

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Time Served
Russian National Serving 5 Years for Marijuana Possession Dies at Bali’s Kerobokan Prison

A Russian national serving a narcotics sentence at Bali’s Kerobokan prison was found dead in a bathroom area of the prison on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.

Anton Pudikov (35) had been held in the prison since January 23, 2013, was serving a 5-year sentence for marijuana possession.

Friends and cellmates of the Russians who found the man on the floor of a bathroom area at 30 minutes past midnigh,t said Pudikov was vomiting and weak. His friends tried to revive Pudikov, while waiting for medical personnel to arrive, but he expired a short time later at the prison.

Pudikov was due for release from prison in 2017.

Police and prison officials have requested an autopsy of the dead Russian in order to determine the actual cause of death. Based on the preliminary findings of police, no foul play is suspected.

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At the Very Tip of Nusa Dua
ITDC Seeks to Enhance the Southernmost Peninsula at the Nusa Dua Complex

Beritadewata.com reports that the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is considering plans to develop the southernmost peninsular at the Nusa Dua Complex into a tourism object.

In the view of ITDC, the 7.4-hectare parcel of land has yet to realize its full economic potential in terms of income contribution to the State-owned enterprise, formerly known as the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC).

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, ITDC held a Focus Group Discussion on the future use of the land in order to obtain feedback from the general public on the cultural and traditional aspects of any proposed project.

Ngurah Wirawan, the director of operations for ITDC, said he hoped the peninsula area would support the singularity of Nusa Dua, particularly as an international MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition) Destination. Wirawan said that the area, now serving as a public park, creates problem of trash and parking congestion during high season.

The Focus Group Discussion was attended by the CEO of ITDC Abdulbar M. Mansor, the chief commissioner of the ITDC I Gde Ardika, a leading tourism practitioner and member of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) A.A. Ngurah Adhi Ardana, the chairman of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) Putu Parwata, a number of regency legislators, representatives from the Provincial and Badung Regency Planning Agencies (Bappeda), The Provincial and Badung Regency Tourism Services, traditional leaders from the Balinese communities surrounding ITDC, and academics.

The discussion group ended with the signing of the“Peninsula Declaration,” pledging to preserve the spirituality of the area in keeping with the teachings of Hindu Dharma. The declaration also promised to maintain the peninsular as a green, open area accessible to the public.

The eventual use of the peninsula, according to ITDC, must bring added value and involve the participation of the public. At certain times of the year the peninsula can be used for specific activities, such as festivals. Via the forum, ITDC received support from those in attendance to enhance both the facilities and utility of the peninsula in an environmentally friendly manner that conform with the law.

Ngurah Wirawan said he will soon convene a second meeting to present design plans for the plot of land incorporating the principle embraced by the "Peninsula Declaration."


High-Tech Bat Cave
Official at Bali Sacred Bat Cave Installing CCTV Cameras to Enforce Religious Dress Codes

Bali’s famous Pura Goa Lawah– a sacred temple embedded in a cave on the roadside in the East Bali Regency of Klungkung, is introducing modern technology to make sure visitors remain religiously compliant in the way they dress when visit the sacred site.

Bali Post reports that those in charge of the temple, inhabited by thousands of bats and a large group of snakes, will soon install CCTV cameras to ensure that visitors are wearing the mandatory sarong and waist slash.

Those found to without these items will be ushered back to the entrance ticket booth where ritual garb are available on a rental basis. Moreover, tourists seen to be taking pictures inside the temple without wearing a sarong and slash will be required to delete the subject photos.

During the coming anniversary (Piodalon) of the Pura Goa Lawah March 1-4, 2016,  tourist will be banned from entering the inner temple to ensure that the performance of rituals and prayers remains undisturbed.


Just Pretend Policemen
Bali Police Confirms Foreign ‘Make Believe’ Traffic Policemen in Bali

Nusa Bali reports that “volunteer” policemen, purportedly from Australia, the U.S.A. and Europe, are lending a hand to Bali traffic cops in dealing with traffic congestion.
 
Several expatriates living in Bali are seen driving large motorcycles, fitted out to resemble police motorcycles, and wearing official-looking police uniforms while undertaking official “patrols” on major roadways in Bali.

The head of the Denpasar Traffic Police, I Nyoman Nuryana, confirmed the existence of the “pretend policemen” who help direct traffic in congested areas and provide traffic information to the public.

“The policemen have existed for a long time. I forget the exact year (they started). What’s clear, when I took this job they were already here,” said Nuryana on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Nuryana said the foreigners wearing self-fashioned uniforms and driving large motorcycles with police attributes could often be seen at busy intersections in Legian and Kuta directing traffic when gridlock occurs. The head of Denpasar’s traffic police said the presence of the “volunteer policemen” was very helpful to the police effort to keep traffic flowing.

Continuing, Nuryana added: “They (the foreign volunteer police) are not allowed to handle cases. They can only provide information. If there is an accident, these foreign police immediately contact us and we send officers to the location.”

Nuryana was unable to provide an exact count on the number of “pretend policemen” operating in Bali, but he estimated their number might be three.


Grab as Grab Can
Governor Orders at Least Temporary Halt to GrabCar Operations in Bali

Bali’s Governor has formally issued an order outlawing GrabCar in Bali in a decree issued on February 17, 2016, responding to a request calling for the step sent by the Bali House of Representatives (DPR-Bali) two days earlier.

A provincial spokesperson quoted by Radar Bali confirmed that GrabCar operations must end until a national working committee receives provide instruction on the mobile taxi application’s future.

The decree by the Governor was announced at the DPRD-Bali on February 27, 2016.

Online applications and their legality are a matter determined by leaders in Jakarta and, for this reason, Bali is calling for national leaders to issue final guidance and regulations on GrabCar in the near future.

Villages and local communities in Bali that control many of the Island’s taxi cooperatives have been up in arms calling for the closure of GrabCar and Uber.

The Governor’s order shutting down GrabCar operations in Bali apparently made no mention of Uber.

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Uncertain Shores
Implementation of Presidential Decree to Ease Foreign Yacht Visits Problematic

While the Indonesian President decreed (PerPres 105/2015) measures to ease foreign yacht visits to Indonesia in 2015, confusion still reigns well into 2016 over the actual implementation of the new rules.

Hellena De Lima, the chairman of the Welcome Yacht Committee complained, as reported by Bisnis Bali, despite the new presidential decree, there is great confusion on what forms and applications must be completed in order to bring a foreign yacht into Indonesia.

The problem is complicated further by the Government’s declaration that Clearance Approvals Indonesia Territory (CAIT) are no longer needed without properly socializing the new procedures for yacht clearance with the Port Masters across Indonesia.

Visiting yachts now only need a Sailing Permit (SPB) issued by a Port Master in one of 17 approved ports in Indonesia. But, unfortunately, many Port Masters claim little or no knowledge on the new standard operating procedures (SOP).

“At this time, many foreign yachts have CAIT’s about to expire. A CAIT usually is valid for only three months. Now, however, with the CAIT’s expiring this will be replaced with the SPB issued by Port Master who don't comprehend the processes required. How can (the Government) want to promote foreign tourism via yacht visits if the implementation of Presidential Decree Number 105/2015 remains unclear?” asked De Lima.

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Protestors Take a Toll in Bali
Thousands of Protestors Against the Reclamation of Benoa Bay Close Access to the Bali Toll Road on Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bali Post reports that thousands of community members from traditional villages in Bali clad in traditional dress demonstrated again the Benoa Bay Reclamation Project on Sunday, February 28, 2016.

In a bold act of opposition, the demonstrators split into four groups managing in the process to block all three access points to Bali only toll road that connects Sanur – Ngurah Rai Airport and Nusa Dua.


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The demonstrations got underway at approximately 2:00 pm with protestors calling for the revocation of President Decree No. 51 of 2014 and the rejection of the environmental impact study (Amdal) that is set for approval on February 29, 2016.

A number of traditional village residents from Denpasar and surrounding areas began their demonstration at Serangan Island and then shifted to the nearby entrance to the Bali Mandara Toll Road at Benoa. The protest ended with the installation of banners at the Pesanggaran intersection.


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A leader of the protest, I Made Pung Rahmanadi, said the demonstration was a positive statement made by traditional villages because the elected representatives of the people are incapable of representing their view on the rejection of reclamation of Benoa Bay to the government. By demonstrating and closing access to the toll road those participating from Bali’s traditional society are urging President Joko Widodo to revoke the Presidential decree signed by his predecessor (Perpres No. 51 of 2014) that changed the status of the area from a protected mangrove forest to a commercial development zone.


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Simultaneously and in a separate location, members of traditional villages located between Canggu and Kedonganan undertook a walk that entered the entrance to the toll road at Tuban near Bali's busy airport. A total of 10 villages were represented in that protest.

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At the same time in a third location, villagers from Bualu to Jimbaran gathered at the Lagoon Field near Nusa Dua to walk to the southernmost entrance to the toll road where they installed protest banners, while blocking traffic entering or leaving the toll road.

A fourth protest was conducted by the residents of Tanjung Benoa and Serangan Island who launched hundreds of boats to protest while floating on Benoa Bay. in close proxity to the Bali Mandara Toll Road.

The combined protest also did not go unnoticed by the hundreds of foreign tourists on board a cruise ship berthed at the Port of Benoa.


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The coordinator of ForBali, Wayan Gendo Suardana, said the massive protests was a show of force by the people of Bali opposed to the reclamation of the Port of Benoa. He said that those joining the protests represented only half of traditional villagers opposed to PT Tirta Wahana Bali International Project.

He warned that, if necessary, all those opposed to the project would be deployed onto Bali streets to join the escalating protests.


A Most Unappealing Politician
Former Cabinet Minister Jero Wacik Accepts 4-Year Prison Sentence for Corruption and Coercion

Bali-born Jero Wacik (67) who served as Minister of Tourism and Culture (2004-2011) and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources (2011-2014) has decided not to appeal and accept a sentence of four years in prison, a fine of Rp. 150 million and a court order to repay the State Rp. 5.07 billion.

The sentence was handed to Wacik for the misuse of Ministerial Operational Funds and the coercion of payment from companies in the private sector.

The punishment handed down by the Court was less than the 9 years in prison, Rp. 300 million fine and compensation of Rp. 18 billion originally sought by prosecutors.

Press reports have not clarified if State Prosecutors are in the process of appealing the sentence given to Wacik in order to seek a harsher punishment.

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Crazy Eights
Bali Targeting 8 Million Foreign Visitors by 2019

While Indonesian tourism officials are targeting to attract 20 million foreign tourists by 2019, Bali will only be expected to welcome 8 million international visitors in 2019.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, the chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, said on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, that Bali would need to develop new attractions to meet the Government’s ambitious target.

Tjokorda said an annual growth rate of 15% would be needed between now and 2019 to arrive at 8 million foreign tourists to Bali.

To meet the 8 million visitor target, said Tjokorda, Bali will need to bolster its infrastructure and undertake an aggressive promotional program.

Underlining the challenges ahead, Tjokorda, who is a native of Ubud, ask how his home community could accommodate twice the current number of tourist arrivals when it is already suffering from the effects of severe traffic congestion and overcrowding.


Swiss Slice
Swiss Man Victim of Savage Knife Attack in Kuta

A Swiss national, Gregory Charles Louis Dorthe (36), was the victim of a violent attack in the early hours of Thursday, February 25, 2016, on the Sunset Road area of Kuta.

Dorthe, who lives on Jalan Margakirana in West Denpasar, was returning at 5:15 am from a long night out in Legian when his motorcycle was sideswiped by another motorcycle. Wielding a large blade, the pillion passenger on the other bike struck the Swiss visitor on the shoulder with a blade leaving a wound that measured 20 x 5 centimeters.

The attack occurred 50 meters fro Bali Brasco on Jalan Sunset.

Badly wounded, Dorthe drove into Toko Bangunan 999 where he assistance from a security guard. He later received treatment as an outpatient at Siloam Hospital.

Police interviewed several eyewitnesses to the attack and reviewed CCTV footage that might have recorded the identity of the man’s assailants.

Dorthe, however, is reportedly refusing to assist police in their investigation.


 
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Bali Update #1089
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